Meditation is allowing yourself to simply be

“Meditation is what happens when you sit with the intention to meditate” What’s your image of meditation? What words does it conjure up for you? How might you feel? Many might imagine someone sitting on a rock with a background of a calm sea, with their legs crossed and arms extended and resting on their knees with each index finger and thumb touching. Or on a yoga course after a yoga work-out. Or do you get the idea that’s difficult and only for terribly spiritual or flaky people? You might have tried it and given up, with all those thoughts … Read more

Need, expectation and jealousy are the three love destroyers

The three love-killers need, expectation and jealousy are a powerful trio which both singlely and all together can wreck relationships with others. Sometimes they are obvious, at other times subtle and insiduous, and we may not consciously know that we have shifted into one or more of these states. The challenge in self awareness is to recognise when they are present and “get off it” and let them go. It can be sometimes very difficult to disentangle need, expectation and jealousy from love but they can cut across the clear, simple, unconditional caring for another and poison it entirely. Need … Read more

Being attuned to others

Talking with people in organisations, beneath the surface of the everyday activities that go on, I frequently hear how tough today’s work environment is for them. In the public sector it is the cutbacks and the consequences for people’s jobs, in the private sector it is the consumer slow-down in spending and the faltering world economy. Personally people are feeling financially very under pressure and squeezed. Optimism is less common. One businessman said to me on Friday that he felt people have become very self-centred and survival-oriented, a kind of emphasised “me-first” attitude. In this environment, it is tempting to … Read more

Being the watcher of your self

So much of the time, we’re busy, hectic, rushing, no time for anything, madly dashing to get somewhere, moving on to the next thing, busy, busy, busy. So, this time, as you are about to plunge into your next day or moment of busyness, just pause a moment and give yourself, your self, some space. Just pause, breathe deeply, let go, and be aware. And rest in that awareness a few moments. Take it in, within you. We’re often so busy that we don’t have the mental space to pause and just be aware of our selves. It’s habitual, this … Read more

Do you worry that your mind keeps you awake?

It’s a dilemma when you can’t sleep at night because your mind is busy, and then you start to worry that your mind is keeping you awake. Your mind might be churning things over and then you’re fearful that it is doing this and stopping you sleeping. Worrying that we can’t sleep is a major factor in insomnia, and having a busy mind is a major contributor to the problem. It’s a very good reason to learn to manage your mind and is where mindfulness can be so powerful. You might for example lie down after a busy day in … Read more

Are we losing our ability to have empathy and to connect?

We must have all done it, a gathering round the dinner table, and there’s a quiet moment as everybody is on their phones or tablets, with snippets of conversation in between. Perfectly normal, you might think: everybody is checking their phones. Except that that is what occurs a lot right through the year where people are together or alone. This world is now getting brilliantly connected. Yet do we notice any disconnect with others we’re with, our lack of attunement to others, that we don’t have empathy? Being a big user myself but also a coach of relationship and interpersonal … Read more

Feeling empathy needs not to cloud your judgement

In the emotional stakes it is good to see empathy now playing a big part and yet there are cautionary points to be made. Just because you empathise with someone doesn’t mean you do what they want, but it can play a powerful part in building bonds and connections and in influence. In a recent US Presidential election Obama was able to make great play of his opponent’s perceived lack of empathy. For example he was able to portray Romney as uncaring with regard to the alleged 47% of the population who he said was government-dependent. Thus whether you are … Read more

Where narcissism and unrealistic self awareness can lead to problems

It’s a much commented-upon trend, the growth of narcissism in today’s western society, part of what people call the “Me first” culture. In this article, for example, it was suggested that “the growth of narcissistic attitudes” due to a “range of trends – including parenting styles, celebrity culture, social media and access to easy credit – which allows people to appear more successful than they are“. The culture of narcissism has even contributed to the rise of narcissistic leaders such as Donald Trump. Narcissism is associated with conceit, vanity, selfishness and egotism. Just to read those words doesn’t seem to … Read more

Being present and aware in whatever you are doing

In all the busyness of your day, I wonder if there’s a part of you that doesn’t want to be doing what you are doing? Or a part that thinks you’ve got too much to do? Or doesn’t want to be where you are? If so, you’re probably not being present. Apart from considerations of making changes in those situations in the future, it can be worth reflecting on the totality of your awareness in that situation. We can get so heavily invested in our dislike of our current circumstances that we don’t allow ourselves to drop it, let go, … Read more